Looking to throw a last-minute New Year’s Eve party? Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst has a few quick hors d’oeuvres ideas, which she shares with host Robin Young.
New Year’s Eve means it’s time to celebrate — and eat.
If you’re planning a gathering with friends or family, keep it simple: A collection of favorite cheeses, these luscious oysters, crab cakes, spiced nuts and olives will get you started. Pop a few bottles of bubbly and cut up some winter citrus and toss with arugula and winter greens, and you’ve got yourself the makings of a great party.
This is the definition of celebratory: my take on the classic New Orleans dish, oysters Rockefeller. If you’re not great at shucking oysters ask your fish store to shuck them for you and keep all the juices and the shells. A creamy, garlic-laced spinach mixture is placed in the empty shell, topped with the raw oyster and then with the Parmesan-panko topping and any oyster juices.
If you want to get fancy, bake the oysters and serve them on a bed of kosher salt — it looks like a bed of snow, and also mimics crushed ice, the traditional bed for serving fresh oysters. The salt can be reused for baking fish or vegetables.
Serves 4 to 6.
For this recipe, use a combination of cashews, almonds, walnuts and pistachios — or your favorite nuts. Add a bowl of these nuts to your cheese board or serve with cocktails.
Makes 1 cup.
These bite-sized crab cakes are a perfect accompaniment to Champagne or sparkling wine. You can make the cakes a day ahead of time and chill until serving. The lime-ginger sauce that goes along with them takes 5 minutes to put together. If you’re hosting a crowd, double or triple the recipe.
This sauce goes beautifully as an accompaniment to the crab cakes, or it can be served with raw vegetables.
Mix 1 cup sour cream with 1 teaspoon lime zest, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon grated or finely chopped ginger, 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallion, and salt and pepper to taste. Makes 1 cup.
This is a great addition to a cheese plate, as the sweet fruit breaks up the richness of many cheeses.
Makes about 2 cups.
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